Chicago, day 02 – Pirates and Evolution!

Our second day in Chicago turned out to be fantastic. For starters, the Embassy hotel gives out a nice free hot breakfast (though they’re frikkin’ misers with their internet connection; $15 a day!). After filling up on eggs and bacon, we headed out to the Field Museum. First we had to walk to the nearest stop, which was rather nice. I like walking around in Chicago, seeing the sights. For some reason, Chicago doesn’t weird me out the way DC does. Maybe it’s because of the part of Chicago I’m walking in; it’s very nice here. But we had a few blocks walk to the bus stop, then we hopped on the 146 and rode to the Field Museum. We met my brother-in-law Pat and his wife Julie there. The girls love Uncle Pat and Aunt Julie (or Uncle Julie and Aunt Pat, as Pixie sometimes calls them), and I always appreciate having extra adults around to ride herd on the kids.

The Field Museum is HUGE! We spent all day there, at least 8 hours, and still only went through a couple of the exhibits. We saw their special exhibit on the slave ship Whydah (sp?) and the pirate Sam Bellamy. Then we hit the Underground exhibit, where the kids got a look at giant earth worms and other cool creepy crawlies that live underground. After that we saw the Egyptian exhibit, where we saw plenty mummies, wrapped and unwrapped. I saw a few things there that sparked some story ideas and Julie laughed every time I pulled out my notebook to write something down. It can’t be helped. That’s the nature of being a writer. I hate to let a go idea go.

After the Egyptians, we saw the exhibit on “This Evolving Earth.” I don’t think I’ve ever seen a better exhibit on biology and the development of life on this planet. I was pleasantly surprised to realize how much I actually knew about evolution, and at a few points I was lecturing to Julie on things like the advantages of sexual reproduction vs. asexual reproduction (and no, the word orgasm never once entered that discussion). Then as soon as I’d wrap up my little lecture, we’d turn around and discover a display on whatever it was I’d just talked about. Weird! It was like I was channeling my dad.

We stayed in the Field Museum until closing. On our way out, we hit the gift shop, where I was able to pick up a book based on the evolution exhibit. It has everything from the exhibit in it, so it’s like taking that whole part of the museum home with me, right down to the fun little animated movies on “How to Become a Fossil” (step one: die!) and the pictures of hominid skulls and dinosaur bones. Can you tell how thrilled I am to have picked up that book?

After the museum, we took a quick break at the hotel room and then hooked up with Pat and Julie again at the Rain Forrest Cafe. Thankfully, we walked there and back, and thankfully I didn’t eat anything too fattening. I usually put on a few pounds during vacations, but I’m hoping that with all the walking around, that won’t happen this time. I need to be able to fit in my jeans when I get on the plane to come home (since I hear they don’t usually let pantless people fly).

Here are a few pics from day 02:

The Field Museum!

Pat and Julie with our insect babies.

“Daddy, can I have a sarcophagus?” (BTW, Pixie says the sarcophaguses were her favorite part of the museum, and yes, she actually pronounced the word sarcophagus, much to the amazement of the woman sitting next to us on the bus back to our hotel.)

Pirates like to hang around the Field Museum. Apparently so do pterodactyls.

That’s Dinosaur Sue in the foreground, one of the most complete T. Rex skeletons ever found, on display in the main hall of the Field Museum.

Princess and Aunt Julie meet Lucy, one of the earliest hominids.

What makes us human? Our ability to create tools and works of art…

Dinosaur Sue, from head on.

Of course we’re evolved! Pat, Princess, Julie and Pixie sit with a close relative at the Rain Forrest Cafe.

And that was pretty much day 02!

About Cynical Woman

Cartoonist, Artist, Geek, Evil Crafter, Girl Scout Troop Leader and Writer. Also, a zombie. I haven't slept in I don't know how long.
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  1. ComicBookGoddess

    Great to see a picture of Dinosaur Sue – she'd played a part in one of my favorite books. 🙂

  2. There's a kids' book about a swallow that flies into a museum and gets chased by a dinosaur that turns out to be a T. Rex skeleton, and your mention of the book on Sue makes me wonder if the book I read was about Sue. I can't even recall the name of the book (it was an illustrated book, no words, just gorgeous paintings of the dinosaur and museum) but I think if I troll the library, I might be able to find it.

    Sue was definitely cool!

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